Oct 6, 2008

Will My Unbalance be Heard?

The Jewish Treats blog shared an important little snippet today that I wish I had been paying more attention to over the past few days: "During the time between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, G-d pays special attention to our prayers. Go ahead, talk to G-d; He wants to hear you!"

I then began thinking about the idea of making resolutions, like we do on the Gregorian New Year (that is, January 1 and shortly just before). It doesn't seem to me like a very High Holy Days thing to do, making resolutions. Maybe I'm missing something, but it has never really been about making resolutions. Is the Jewish New Year meant for resolution-making? Maybe I'm wrong to do it, but when I do do it, I make resolutions to start on January 1. It's never really a conscious decision, it just works that way. But this year, it is more of a deliberate decision. And I feel pretty horrible about it.

You see, I'd like to say that I'm starting 5769 out right. Keeping Shabbos completely and going kosher and doing all these things I've been trying to tack on for so long now. But it isn't happening. Yes, I went to services on Friday, but then we went out to dinner and then to New York to see a show. And this week? Driving down to the Poconos, though we are going to shul. And this isn't how I want to carry myself, but I can't seem to figure things out. I seem stuck. I want it all. I want everything! I have a boyfriend, and being Shomer Shabbos would relegate our relationship to Sundays, and he works many Sundays. School, Shabbos, Boyfriend, feh.

I just have to wonder how G-d will review my prayers these few days before Yom Kippur. Will He hear me? Will I be inscribed in the book of life? Is it even worth it? When even I know that I'm not living rightly?

I feel like the delicate balance I am trying to maintain is eating away at my conscious. If I weren't in school or weren't in Storrs or weren't doing this or doing that it'd work out. But conditionals always seem perfect in our minds.

It never fails to amuse me that my zodiac sign is Libra, the scales of justice, and the moment I feel perfectly in balance is when the scales seem to tip, creating unbalance, unsettling the mind and tilting my comfort.

Stained-glass window from Lower Merion Synagogue in Pennsylvania. 


Mottel said...

We do make resolutions for the new year, we try to fix up (repent for) the past and make new decisions to better the future -in fact there is even the concept of taking on a new Stringency for the new year (as we say in Mama Loshen -a yahr alter a yahr frimmer, a year older a year more frum!)

The idea of the resolution, though, shouldn't be an empty promise that is soon forgotten, it should be something serious, even small, that is kept to (a piece of advice would be to make a resolution to do somethin for say a week, and then renew it again after that week for a later date etc.)

No matter what you do, a good year!

Jessica said...

All those resolutions are great, but I'd recommend attempting just one at a time. I remember when my family was first becoming religious hearing this analogy: We're like children trying to pick up a bunch of toys. They all look so cool so we want to pick all of them up at once, but when we do that we just end up dropping all of them because it's too much for us to carry. Better to pick just one and hold onto that, then to try to do everything at once and end up with nothing.

Zohara bat Sarah said...

I think you need to think about what makes Shabbos for you--is going out to dinner Shabbos? Yes? then go out to dinner. No? then don't. Is going to the mountains Shabbos? Yes? Then go. No? Then don't.

Mottel said...

Zohara -Shabbos is Shabbos, our emotions don't define it. A person may feel Shabbos by going to all sorts of places that aren't fitting for the day (Let's use a Rave as an example), their feelings are uniquely their own, which may be beuatiful -but Shabbos it aint.

Anonymous said...

Chavi, you sound like I have felt and still feel in my journey to live more Jewishly. Don't you feel as if you were doing 'round 2' of how you felt when you were going through conversion - you want to do it all NOW!! it sounds like Jessica has it right - try to do one at a time. If you do it with your heart then surely G-d will appreciate it, even if it is less than what you wanted to do in the beginning.

For an example of what I'm up to, I wanted to go to the Hebrew classes each week, but even though they are in the evening, I can't get there in time from work. So, I'm teaching myself on the train to and from work. I know it's working well for me as I am making good progress and can see it each Shabbat service!

Good luck in your endeavours, Chavi!

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